Police temporarily saved a 190kg pig’s bacon – seconds before it was to be slaughtered after it had fallen off a truck in eastern China and was abducted by three men in a passing van, mainland media reports.
Within the hour police had contacted the owner of the van and demanded he return the pig, worth 3,500 yuan (HK$4,070) – just as a butcher was sharpening his knife to slit the animal’s throat, the Y angtse Evening Post reported.
The stay of execution came as the van owner had just hired the butcher after catching the pig and taking it to a factory in Zhenjiang, in Jiangsu province.
The animal, one of the 95 pigs being transported to market by truck, had caused traffic delays after falling onto the main highway linking Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces last Wednesday.
About seven minutes later, a surveillance video showed a passing van stopping on the emergency lane, and two men climbing out and approaching the pig, which was in the centre of the road.
The men chased the pig towards the emergency lane, where a third man helped them lift the animal into the back of their van.
The truck driver tried to stop the three men in the van, but they drove off.
When contacted by police by phone, the van owner initially refused to return the pig, but later agreed the truck driver could pick it up at his factory, the report said.
The current fate of the pig is unknown.